Technology assessment of blockchain-based technologies in the food supply chain

Susanne Köhler, Massimo Pizzol

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Beyond the financial domain, the application of blockchain is highly relevant in supply chain traceability, but the trade-offs between implementation challenges and achievable impact remain unclear. In this study, six cases of blockchain-based technologies in the food supply chain were analyzed applying a technology assessment framework that distinguishes between four different components of a technology: technique, knowledge, organization, and product. The study intends to provide new critical insights on how blockchain-based technologies can be implemented in the food supply chain and to further the discussion of social and environmental implications of blockchain-based technologies. The results highlight how blockchain is not a stand-alone-technology, but rather one element in a system of technologies. While blockchain-based technologies are expected to bring a variety of impacts, only some are directly attributable to the blockchain element: increased transparency, traceability, and trust. Other impacts such as improved data management are a side-effect of digitizing non-digital processes. Further research is needed to confirm whether blockchain-based technologies bring the expected sustainability improvements in food supply chains.
Original languageEnglish
Article number122193
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2020


  • Sustainability
  • digitization
  • traceability
  • responsible consumption


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